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Paul, Weiss Files Article 78 Challenge to Restore Access to Video Footage From New York City Jails

As reported in The New York Times, WNYC, the New York Daily News and other media outlets, Paul, Weiss filed an Article 78 special proceeding on behalf of the New York City Board of Correction against the New York City Department of Correction (DOC), DOC Commissioner Louis Molina and the city. The Board is a nine-person governmental body that sets minimum standards for and monitors the city’s correctional facilities, and provides independent oversight of the DOC. The Article 78 petition challenges the DOC’s unilateral termination of the Board’s historic, unfettered, 24/7 direct access to video footage from the city’s jails and its imposition of a series of far-reaching new restrictions that severely limit the Board’s video access.

Our petition alleges that 24/7 direct video access, including access to a live feed, is one of the most crucial means by which the Board can effectively monitor the city’s jails; ensure the DOC’s compliance with the minimum standards the Board has established; and conduct independent, confidential investigations into incidents of violence, use of force, responses to medical emergencies, and improper behavior by DOC staff. It argues that the DOC’s termination of the Board’s direct video access and imposition of the new restrictions on any video access was arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion because they impermissibly infringe on the inspection rights granted to the Board under the City Charter and because they constitute an unexplained and unjustifiable reversal of the DOC’s own longstanding policies and practices.

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partner Aidan Synnott, special counsel Steven Banks, pro bono attorney Jeremy Benjamin, corporate associates Rita Gilles and Daina Goldenberg, and litigation associate Robert Nanni.

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